Saturday, 2 January 2016

The Role of Associations in Baptist Renewal

Annual State Meeting Nagaland Baptist Church Council
At the core of Baptist life is the local associations. Most local associations are more or less mostly dead. This allows a great opportunity for denominational renewal. I'll explain.

Since most local associations are on life support, a competent leader can step in and effect change much easier than can be done when the association is vibrant. Here's the strategy.

Attend all your association meetings, and contribute as the opportunity arises. Make sure your church gets maximum delegates to attend. Find other like-minded visionaries and forge alliances with them and put together a plan for renewal. Implement the plan, and see what can happen in a couple of years.

Tired of your denominational churches ordaining mediocre and uneducated clergy? Take over your local association, and implement higher education standards for ordination. The first step might be to require ordination candidates to write a book review on Arminian Baptist theology. If a preacher wants credentials in an Arminian Baptist denomination such as Free Will Baptist, why not require him to read and review Forlines' Classical Arminianism? Start with baby steps. Eventually you might be able to require formal theological training.

Tired of your denominational churches being KJV-only? Why not require ordination candidates to write a paper that involves some research into the issue? You can give them a bibliography.

Use your local association to make connections with model ministers and ministries. Invite guest speakers. Allow organizations to set up a kiosk to promote their ministries.

Once your local association has been renewed, make sure that it sends maximum delegates to the state meeting and repeat the process there.

Local associations are so dead that competent leaders can create a spark that will have significant impact.

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